Want to throw a fabulous garden party and inspire your people to kick off their shoes and relax? Channel the atmosphere of far‑flung places – think the utter opulence of the Indian Raj, a tropical island resort or Arabian nights – and the luxury and colour will flow naturally.
1. Entertaining outside is all about comfort. Stay true to an Arabian theme with an abundance of bolsters and cushions, even if the designs are reinterpreted with a modern flair.
2. Richly coloured swathes of sheer chiffon swaying in the breeze will soon have you dreaming of a good time. So instead of your usual outdoor furniture, invest in a relaxing day bed. Suspend lanterns around your garden or from pergolas and parasols and everyone will linger well into the night.
3. Arrange Moroccan-style lanterns to set the scene, even during the day. Ramp up their warm glow at night by placing them on silver trays.
4. Floor cushions are the best thing ever for lounging around. Work the tropical theme by tie-dyeing and stencilling your own batik designs on white cotton pillowcases or cushion covers.
5. Pot up summer-flowering petunias and bougainvillaea.
6. Who needs a pool? You can rig up a portable shower and, if you like, a screen in your garden. Great for cooling off on a hot day, it sure beats the hose! Everyone (not just the kids), will love it – and your garden will thank you after a good long soak! Check out the range of outdoor showers at Bunnings.
7. You can never have enough soothing candlelight, so stock up on candle-holders and lanterns. Wicker, bamboo, glass, metal – whatever takes your fancy and fits your garden party theme. Group smaller pieces for greater impact.
9. Escape to the exotic locale that is your deck. The right choice of accessories will help you pull this off. Bright and graphic tropical prints, temple flags and cotton floor cushions will impart a lush Balinese flavour.
10. Colour vintage-style wire bird cages, new or old, happy! To paint, hang each cage outside and, wearing a face mask and protecting surfaces, spray paint evenly from side to side and back again. Several coats are better than one heavy dripping coat. For best coverage, turn cage upside down and repeat. Let paint dry. Fill with pretty potted plants and let the birds fly free.
11. It’s always fun to mix and match, especially with eyepopping colours. Evoke the spirit of the Raj with a stone elephant, colourful cushions and poufs for the seating and a low table made of old pallets – who would have guessed? Let the feast begin!